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1. Sustainability in Higher Education System


Mato Njavro, PhD

Dean, Zagreb School of Economics and Management

Mato Njavro, PhD is the dean of the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, where he teaches financial courses. Mato Njavro is also a professor at the Luxembourg School of Business and a lecturer at the University of St. Gallen and Singapore Management University where he teaches the Chinese Economy course.

From 2016 to 2020, Mato resided in Singapore where he worked at the Institute of Management of the University of St.Gallen in Asia (SGI-HSG) and Singapore Management University. Before moving to Singapore, Mato spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. His research interests are focused on financial markets, public policy and economic development. He is the author and co-author of several scientific papers and studies, including the Harvard Business School case: “Atlantic Group” on one of the largest M&A transactions in the CEE region.

He is the founder and academic director of the New Europe Business Forum, an interdisciplinary event that brings together world leaders from various fields once a year to discuss topics of great importance to our society as a whole such as entrepreneurship, leadership, scientific innovation and economic policy.

He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Bocconi University in Milan in the field of economics and finance, and received his PhD from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland in the field of finance. Before earning his PhD, he gained work experience in London working for Lehman Brothers and Nomura, in the investment banking sector.

2. AI in Higher Education


Boris Debić, MSc

Chief History Officer, Google

Boris Debić, MSc, Google’s Chief History Officer emeritus, is a technologist who spent 15 years with the company from its earliest days and in the period of the most accelerated growth ($3B to $161B revenue/yr, 3500 to 210k workforce). He holds an M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

At Google he has worked in several roles: Release engineering, G+Privacy, Global Infrastructure, Data center site location, AI driven decision making, Ads serving and machine learning infrastructure, Developer Relations. He has worked with Google.org on analysis and exchange of global climate modeling data sets and agricultural data to provide food security forecasts, also in providing access to education to Syrian refugees in Jordan and across the Arab world. With support from NASA Ames directs Mars Society’s NorCal Rover project. He is a board member of several high tech startup companies in both the US and Croatia including http://production.pro which was featured as a top three at Launch Fest in San Francisco. He teaches AI at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management. Prior to Google he held positions in: Silicon Valley startups, most notably E.piphany; the United Nations; the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Zagreb. Boris Debić has been a lecturer, invited keynote speaker, IEEE editor and organizer of Computer Science conferences.

3. Higher Education Quality Methods and Policies


Zoran Barac, PhD

Managing Director, Zagreb School of Economics and Management

Zoran Barac, PhD is the Managing Director of the Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM) where he is also the Head of the Finance and Accounting Department. Dr. Barac received his Ph.D. in Management at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and his M.Sc. in International Economics at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business. Currently he teaches the course: Corporate Governance. Before joining the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, Dr. Barac held several senior executive and board positions in the corporate sector such as a finance director of the regional media company and CFO of a pharmaceutical distribution company. Before entering the corporate sector, Zoran Barac was the President of the management board of the Croatian Pension Investment Company. Dr. Barac also served as a Governing Board member of the Croatian Pension Supervisory Authority in the period from 2000 to 2005. Dr. Barac currently serves as the President of the Supervisory board of Platinum Invest, an Investment Funds Management Company. He also serves as a Supervisory board member of the ZSEM Business Academy and a member of the Supervisory board of Croatia Airlines. As an experienced coach and sports official he serves as the President of the Croatian Wushu Federation, a national sports organization that governs Croatian Wushu, which is the collective term for the martial art practices and sports which originated and developed in China. Also as a National Wushu team coach, he coached medal winning athletes in national and international competitions. Dr. Barac also served as a member of the Governing Council of the Croatian Agency for the Supervision of Pension Funds in the period between 2000 and 2005.

4. Life – Long Learning


Goran Oblaković, PhD

Associate Dean, Zagreb School of Economics and Management

Goran Oblaković, PhD is the Associate Dean of the undergraduate programs, program director of the Executive MBA graduate program at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management as well as the Academic Director for the Undergraduate Program in Economics and Management. He completed his PhD in management at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, defending the dissertation „Risk Management at the Strategic and Operational Levels of Swiss Banks: Current Status and the Lessons Learned from the Subprime Crisis“. He completed his master’s studies in strategic finance (MSSF) and business administration (MBA) at the Indiana University Southeast, USA, where he also completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration (BS).

In 2013 he joined the Management, Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation Department at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management. His areas of scientific and research interest include risk management, banking, and entrepreneurship. He has extensive experience working in logistics and consulting, and has worked for corporations such as FedEx, Target, and also for the United Nations, Indiana University, and couple of startups. From 2016 he is also the Head of the Management, Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation Department.